Egyptian actor Karim Abdel Aziz will receive the prestigious Faten Hamama Award for Excellence at this year’s Cairo International Film Festival.
The award will honour the contributions the actor has made to Egyptian cinema across his two-decade career, often taking what festival organisers called “bold choices".
Abdel Aziz has appeared in comedy, action, thriller, horror and romance films.
His most notable works include 2014's Al Fil Al Azraq (The Blue Elephant), a horror mystery based on the novel by Ahmed Mourad, the 2011 thriller Fasel wa Na'ood (We’ll Return after a Break) and the 1999 comedy Aboud Ala El Hedoud (Aboud on the Border).
However, Abdel Aziz’s association with cinema has been lifelong.
The son of renowned director Mohamed Abdelaziz, he made his acting debut as a toddler in his father’s 1978 film Al-Baadh Yathhab Lil Maathoun Maratain (Some Go to the Marriage Officiant Twice), which stars Adel Imam, Nour El-Sherif and Samir Ghanem.
However, many consider the 1998 film Edhak El Soura Tetlaa Helwa (Laugh, the Photo May Look Nicer) to be Abdel Aziz’s first professional debut, and the actor has been releasing films on an almost annual basis ever since. His most recent works include the 2021 hit action series Al Ikhtiyar 2 (The Choice 2), which was released during Ramadan.
“Abdel Aziz managed to succeed and sometimes surprise us with his bold choices,” Mohamed Hefzy, president of the Cairo International Film Festival, said.
“It is not by coincidence that he is among the highest-earning movie stars in the history of Egyptian cinema without having to follow the guaranteed pattern of the film market."
In a statement shared with Egyptian news outlets including Shorouk News, Abdel Aziz said he was honoured to receive an award that bears the name of legendary actress Faten Hamama – a luminary in the industry during the 1950s and 1960s, a time often referred as the beginning of the golden age in Egyptian cinema.
Abdel Aziz said the award took him back to the beginning of his career, when he yearned to be invited to the festival. It was an honour, he said, to be attending as an award winner in November.
The Cairo International Film Festival is one of the region’s most anticipated annual film events. It was the first of its kind in the Arab world when it was established in 1976 and is now in its 43rd iteration.
This year, it will take place between Friday, November 26 and Sunday, December 5.